CHICKPEA ORZO SOUP

Chickpea Orzo Soup In Two Bowls

CHICKPEA ORZO SOUP

by | May 15, 2020

Inspired by the Greek Avgolemono Soup, this velvety lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup is a vegan alternative made with chickpeas and thickened with tahini. This recipe was adapted from the Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup at The Simple Veganista. It’s perfect for summer with its bright lemon flavor, and it comes together in about 30 minutes.

Chickpea Orzo Soup In Two Blue Bowls
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CHICKPEA ORZO SOUP

Made with chickpeas, orzo and dill, this silky lemon flavored soup is ready in about 30 minutes. It's chicken soup without the chicken!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Entree, Soup
Cuisine: Greek,, Mediterranean
Keyword: Dairy free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 479kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and diced
  • 3 medium ribs celery diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 7 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water in addition to water needed for sauteing onions, carrots and celery
  • 1 cup whole wheat orzo
  • 2 (15) ounce cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup lemon juice fresh
  • cup tahini
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • fresh chopped dill, to taste
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat about ¼ cup water(or 1 Tablespoon oil) in a large skillet over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the diced onions, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, for about five minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent. If the vegetables start to stick to the pan, add a little more liquid and continue stirring.
  • Add the minced garlic and continue stirring for 30 seconds.
  • Add the vegetable broth and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Stir in the orzo and chickpeas, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the orzo is cooked according to the package directions.
  • When the orzo is cooked, remove the soup from the heat and stir in the lemon juice a little at a time to achieve the lemony flavor that you prefer.
  • Stir in the tahini, baby spinach, dill, and salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Water sauteing of onions and other vegetables is done to reduce the calories from oil that is often used in sauteing at the beginning of many recipes.  If you prefer, you can use 1 tablespoon of oil to saute the onions, celery and carrots in this recipe.  
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 388mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 9076IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg
Chickpea Orzo Soup Ingredients

You’ll need the following ingredients for this Chickpea Orzo Soup…

  • 1 small onion
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 3 medium stalks celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • fresh dill
  • 7 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup whole wheat orzo or gluten free pasta, if you are making gluten free
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup tahini
  • salt and pepper to taste
Chickpea Orzo Soup In Blue Bowl Closeup

Things You Might Like To Know About This Recipe…

Water Sauteing

My preference is to avoid the calories in oils whenever possible. Although some oils are healthier than others, one tablespoon contains about 120 calories. Sauteing with water or broth instead of oil is a great way to save those calories, and in the context of this recipe, the flavor will not be affected.

Heat your pan on high and add about ¼ cup of water. Reduce the heat to medium and add the ingredient(s) to saute. Stir constantly until they reach the doneness that your recipe requires. For example, if you are sauteing onions, you will most often want them to be soft and translucent before adding other ingredients. Continue adding a small amount of water as needed to keep the ingredient(s) from sticking to the pan.

Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are widely available in grocery stores in cans and dried. You can buy organic and low salt alternatives to many brands of canned chickpeas. The cans are convenient, but when you cook the beans from scratch you save money, you know exactly what’s in your chickpeas, and you can control the consistency of the finished beans to your liking. You’ll find an excellent article here on how to cook chickpeas on the stovetop, in a pressure cooker or in a slow cooker.

There are 10-15 grams of protein in a cup of chickpeas.(Dried, cooked chickpeas will have more protein.) In addition they contain calcium, iron, phosphorus, folate and fiber. You’ll find a complete nutritional rundown here.

Tahini

Tahini is ground sesame seeds. When ground, the seeds form a thick, oily paste similar in texture to peanut butter and cashew butter. It can add a nutty flavor and creamy texture to recipes ranging from savory to sweet. It is common in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines and most notably known for its use in hummus. Tahini is high in protein, fiber and a number of vitamins and minerals. Check here for a full nutritional breakdown.

There are many brands of tahini available at grocery stores and online, although particular grocery stores may have only one brand or none at all. There can be significant difference in taste so find a brand that you will enjoy. You can find a number of reviews ranking tahini brands online. Here’s one. Here’s another.

Lemon Juice

Fresh lemon juice is a must for this recipe. Lemons can be expensive, so you want to get as much juice out of them as possible. There are a number of ways to do this, but the quickest and my favorite way is to heat whole lemons in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Be careful not to overheat the lemon or the juice will literally spill out of the pores of the lemon.

Some recipes list whole or parts of lemons as ingredients. I prefer not to do that because each lemon can produce a significantly different amount of juice. If you google how much juice is in a lemon, you’ll find anywhere from 3-5 tablespoons. If this recipe requested 3 lemons, those lemons could produce as much as 15 Tablespoons to as little as 9 Tablespoons of lemon juice. 15 Tablespoons is a little under a cup of juice and 9 Tablespoons is a little over a half cup of juice.

This recipe requires about ½ cup of lemon juice, and because it is added at the end, you can experiment with the amount of juice that suits your taste.

If you have leftover juice, you can store it in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days, but it does not stay fresh for long, so if you aren’t planning to use it, freeze it in ice cube trays, and once frozen, add the lemon cubes to a freezer bag or freezer safe container and store in the freezer until you’re ready for lemon juice again.

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